“And in the tractor man their grows the contempt that comes only to a stranger who has little understanding or no relation. For nitrates are not the land, nor phosphates, and the length of fibre in the cotton is not the land. Carbon is not a man, nor is salt nor water nor calcium. He is all of these, and he is much more, much more; and the land is so much more than its analysis. The man who is more than his chemistry, walking on the earth, turning his plow point for a stone, dropping his handles to slide over an outcropping, kneeling in the earth to eat his lunch; that man who is more than his elements knows that the land is more than its analysis.”
One of the most poignant parts of the novel, the Tractor Man. I love how Steinbeck talks about blessings and curses. This part almost made me weep. There is a timelessness to it, such beautiful imagery.